Mild winter pushes fuel sales lower in first quarter


Fuel sales continued dropping in the first quarter of the year, on the back of a slide that started in 2017, with hopes for a market recovery pinned on tourism and measures for curbing smuggling.

According to sources at the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association (SEEPE), fuel consumption declined 11 percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year due to a drop in heating oil sales brought on by a mild winter in most parts of the country. Gasoline and diesel were more or less at the same level as last year, possibly with a marginal increase.

The same sources noted that the comparison relates to the particularly poor quarter of January-March 2017, as in end-2016 – ahead of an increase in fuel taxes – consumers rushed to stock up on fuel such as heating oil, leading to particularly low sales in the months that followed.

Since the start of the crisis, fuel sales have contracted by almost 40 percent, according to official data, from 11.4 million metric tons in 2009 to under 7 million in 2017.